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Questions for old cubers!

StuntPlayZYT

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Ok, so I have some questions for cubers who cube before 2013. I know the cubing community started forming in the early 2000s. So I have some questions for all cubers during/started that time

What lube did you use
What did you use as timers
What was considered the GAN of your time/what was the best speedcube
Where did you get your cubes
Did cubing channels exist at that time?
Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?
How much did cubes cost?
How did you make cubing videos?
How popular was cubing?

That is all
 

DNF_Cuber

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Beyond the grave.....
I wasn't actually cubing back then, but I know a few answers
Stackmats were around then, but as earlier versions
1614018702184.png
There were different kinds of cubes, some very early ones were type a, b ,c ,d, etc.
around 2010, dayan cubes such as the guhong became popular, and introduced real reverse corner cutting.
The speedsolving forums has been around since 2006
EDIT: Here's some links to old cubes
 
Last edited:

Alexander

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What lube did you use
sil.jpg Still using this :cool:
What did you use as timers
I used a timer i codes my self and david trainer
and use a stackmat timer
stackmat.jpg Still using this :cool:
What was considered the GAN of your time/what was the best speedcube
I dont remmember the name but was somekind of DIY
Where did you get your cubes
Most at the time at comps. There was always someone who was selling puzzles
Did cubing channels exist at that time?
Yes there was and still there IRC Chat
Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?
this IRC Chat its still there
the forum was on Yahoo thats is closed now but Christopher Mowla made a backup
How much did cubes cost?
some between 5 and 10 euros
stickers where from cubesmith
How did you make cubing videos?
I made a few but where only some solves just with cam from laptop nospecial editting
How popular was cubing?
For me very i started when i was really jung and solved my first cube at the age of 12
 
Last edited:

xyzzy

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2016XYZZ01
(Context: started in mid/late '00s, not early '00s, so this might not quite be what you're looking for.)

>What lube did you use
none

>What did you use as timers
I coded one by request from a cuber friend, but I don't think I ever really used it myself. Iirc I mostly used my phone's stopwatch. (It's a dumbphone, the kind with buttons you press instead of a touchscreen. (Wild, I know.) The battery has been dead for a few years so I can't actually check, but I think my best recorded time was a bit over a minute.)

>What was considered the GAN of your time/what was the best speedcube
I had no clue then because I wasn't following the scene. Probably like Eastsheen or something, idk.

>Where did you get your cubes
Begging my parents to buy them (from physical toy stores).

>Did cubing channels exist at that time?
Maybe? But I don't think I was big on the whole YouTube thing back then (especially since that was also roughly the time we got broadband internet at home, so I hadn't yet gotten used to being able to stream videos).

>Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?
School.

>How much did cubes cost?
Like $10? I don't remember.

>How did you make cubing videos?
I didn't…? Kind of a loaded question, if you ask me. (Or, well, I may have tried recording solves at some point. The oldest solve footage I might still have is a gigaminx solve from 2010.)

>How popular was cubing?
Pretty much every other kid in class knew how to solve one, but I assume the craze kinda fizzled out eventually. We didn't have our first official WCA comp until around 2010, and I personally wasn't aware that WCA comps were even a thing until 2015-ish.

These days I still get my cubes mostly from physical stores, except of course I'm buying them myself now. I've got some Silk from the last time I ordered from Cubicle and some Lunar from the last time I ordered from SCS, which are pretty much what I've been using for lube for the past three years. (I'm not exactly fussy about lube setup. If it works, it works.) I'll probably grab some more lube the next time I head to the local cube store.

The GAN of this time is, well, GAN. As for cube costs, I'll occasionally splurge on getting flagships, but for the most part I don't bother with getting all of the best and latest cubes. The last time I bought anything expensive was probably the Spark M (in 2019).

I still don't really follow cubing channels. There's like two I actually follow and the rest of the cubing videos I watch are those that get posted here.

Pretty much my only contact with cubers since getting out of high school is this forum. Not so much of IRL interaction, I guess.

These days I occasionally record some of my solves and very occasionally try to talk about some weird stuff I have in my mind. Used to record with my laptop's webcam (with potato quality) before switching to a smartphone (somewhat less potato quality). Recently found out how to make the quality even better, which is unfortunate because I have no (cubing) video ideas currently.
 

DGCubes

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Haha apparently I'm an old cuber now. I started in April 2012, first comp in January 2013, so maybe "borderline old" is a better term. :p Keep in mind that I was ~12 years old at the time, so I'm sure I did things differently than the older/more experienced cubers of the time.

What lube did you use?
I first used Silicone spray on my Rubik's brand, and I had to go in my garage to do it because of the fumes. I took the whole cube apart, set the pieces out on a newspaper on the floor, and sprayed Silicone spray all over it. I let it sit for a while, then put it back together, and man did that thing turn well afterwards. :p Later on I got some Lubix, and I still love how my Lubixed cubes feel. :)

What did you use as timers?
I used CubeTimer as my first online timer, then I eventually switched to qqTimer, and later csTimer. My first Stackmat timer was a Gen2.

What was the best speedcube/where did you get your cubes?
The best speedcube was definitely the DaYan ZhanChi. I only had a Rubik's brand and a DaYan GuHong V1 when I went to my first 2 comps, but I had to compete with the Rubik's brand since the GuHong was stickerless and not therefore legal at the time. At my second comp, a kind experienced cuber told me I should get a ZhanChi to compete with, and it was an amazing cube for sure. Later on the FangShi ShuangRen came out, and that was the first possible ZhanChi killer. I still love that cube, and honestly I think I could get my usual times on it today if I had a magnetized version. I honestly don't remember where I got my cubes, but I was young so my parents got a bunch of them for me as gifts. I definitely bought from most cube stores at one point or another.

Did cubing channels exist at that time?
Cubing channels absolutely existed, but the biggest ones (like RedKB, CrazyBadCuber, and MeMyselfAndPi) only had ~30K subscribers. YouTube as a whole was significantly smaller then too though. :p

Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?
I personally chatted on Google Hangouts with my cubing friends, since I wasn't on other platforms like Facebook yet. Speedsolving and Facebook groups have existed for a long time though.

How much did cubes cost?
Good question, I think 3x3 speedcubes would generally be 15USD or so, but it varied a bit.

How did you make cubing videos?
I recorded my first cubing videos with my Nintendo 3DS (lol) but again, I was young at the time and I didn't have anything better. Eventually I moved on to a low-quality camcorder, then I finally got my hands on a smartphone to record with.

How popular was cubing?
I thought cubing was really popular at the time, but it's nothing like it is today! I'm from New Jersey, and I was allowed to sign-up at the door at my first comp - in recent years I've organized two comps in NJ and both of them have filled up in a couple days.
 

qwr

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I love reminiscing about this kind of stuff :) I learned 2010/2011 but was never a speedcuber (best time was around 1 minute)

What lube did you use
I heard that silicone spray was good from a MMAP video probably so I just asked my parents to buy some B'Laster silicone spray. I disassembled my cube, laid it out on a paper towel, gave it some sprays, then flipped over the pieces and did it again. That stuff is designed for metal hinges and it didn't help the cube at all. In fact, it made the cube plastic kinda sticky and slower.

What did you use as timers
Cubemania which I think was pretty popular at the time

What was considered the GAN of your time/what was the best speedcube
I didn't pay attention to hardware. When I started it was Alpha 5 (that's what thrawst told me when I asked him via youtube pm). Later it was guhong and zhanchi which I never got though I was aware that my DIY cubes sucked because it looked like a rubik's brand mechanism.

Where did you get your cubes
My first cube was a rubik's brand, probably from a retail store. My next puzzles were from China; one of my parents' friends visited China and bought some random brand cubes at some toy market. They were better than rubik's brand because they were DIY so tensionable. But I couldn't tension too loose or it would pop. I stopped cubing from like 2013-2018 and I only bought my first speedcube, a Qiyi Warrior W, in 2018. So I missed out on all those old cubes.

Did cubing channels exist at that time?
Yes! That's how I learned to cube: from pogobat and MMAP videos. My favorite channels were definitely thrawst and MMAP. I loved MMAP's skits and I think his videos would still be popular today. People like to make fun of him nowadays but I think a lot of older cubers really liked his videos to watch. Thrawst was who I considered to be an expert and he had some "tip of the week" videos and also a famous 4x4 without the core prank. Channels like cyoubx and monkeydude1313 also existed but I don't remember watching them much.

Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?
I didn't really have a community. I and my cousin used to hangout at our homes on Sundays and we had a mini collection and we used to talk about cubing. Later on at school I remember some guy who was way faster than me showed me his speedcube with rounded centers and curved edges (probably like a weilong or something) and I thought that was amazing. Later on in school I had some friends who knew how to solve and we solved in class sometimes. One of my friends who played pingpong competitively got to 30 seconds or so just using the beginner's method. I knew there were fast people but I was always discouraged because I thought I was lazy and could never be as fast as them. I think I knew this site existed because I used to visit the wiki and copy down the algs into a notebook I had but I never participated. I would've had an early join date then :p

How much did cubes cost?
Not too expensive. Rubik's brand hasn't changed in cost since and the chinese speedcubes in China probably cost about 5-10 yuan (about $1). In the US they were $8-15.

How did you make cubing videos?
I didn't, but I wanted to. I wanted to make a video on how to assemble a 3x3 and 2x2 because I thought I came up with a great method to do it (the 2x2 can be quite hard, especially the ones from rubik's without springs so you have to bend the plastic). But I had to hold my camcorder in one hand and I couldn't make the video with just one hand free (idk why I didn't just put the camera on a table).

How popular was cubing?
Hard to say. I knew about Feliks, Erik, and Mats Valk but I didn't know many other famous people. It was popular enough for it to get recommended to me on youtube and sites like cubemania were pretty active. However it's nothing like it is now.
 
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Kit Clement

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> What lube did you use

In 2008, lots of Jig-a-loo and some Ace branded silicone spray. Started using Traxxas in 2013.

> What did you use as timers

Still stackmats for competition or competition practice, although some of the older stackmats looked a lot different. Most people timed their solves at home using CalCubeTimer, which was the first timer to support stackmat connections, I believe.

> What was considered the GAN of your time/what was the best speedcube

There really is no equivalent to Gan in the 2009 and earlier era, people used a wide variety of cubes, but Type A and Type F cubes were fairly common when I started. Erik's 7.08 was on a Type B cube, I believe. Dayan Zhanchi was the world class cube for a very long period of time (2011-2013 or so?)

> Where did you get your cubes

No US retailers existed, except for maybe a few ebay resellers. Cube4you was the main way to get cubes from China.

> Did cubing channels exist at that time?

The YouTube scene for cubing started in earnest around late 2007 or so, I'd say. YouTube was only a year old then, and communities in general were slowly starting up then.

> Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?

Before my time was the Yahoo speedsolving group, but that mostly migrated here in 2005 or 2006 or so. The IRC #rubik chat was also pretty active for a while, but I didn't use it much.

> How much did cubes cost?

Most DIY kits were no more than $15, most around $9-10.

> How did you make cubing videos?

Just as you do now? Except your camera was a potato.

> How popular was cubing?

Honestly, when I started going to competitions in 2008, there felt like a real buzz that cubing was starting to take off, and looking at the number of new cubers by year, 2009 and 2010 were really big jumps in new competitors. Looking back, it's funny to think what our standard for popular was - we thought that getting local competitions above 40 competitors was amazing in our area.
 
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I just cubed for a month or so when I was around middle school age (probably around 2005). I think my dad gave me it for a birthday or something. Never knew that cubing was a thing people did competitively, so I just had fun with it. Didn't know about any forums or any advanced methods- so I just solved it using the method in the instruction manual. I don't remember seeing anyone else at school with a cube ever, or seeing them around me at all. The cube I had was the old school one, super hard to turn and I think the stickers eventually fell off lol. Had a great time with it though!
 
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EngiNerdBrian

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Oh this is great fun...I actively cubed from 2008-2011 and then took an 8ish year break until now!

What lube did you use
- CRC of course! I actually had access to Traxxas since my college roommate raced RC cars...so i was actually quite lucky since that's still a popular lube today and nobody would dare put CRC in their cubes any more.

What did you use as timers
- qqtimer!

What was considered the GAN of your time/what was the best speedcube
- Some combination of 2 DIY cubes probably. Lots of people were swapping the corners of one cube onto the edges/core of others to come up with better performing puzzles. Spring swaps were more common. When most speed cubes were purchased DIY experimenting with parts was half the fun! I mained a Type F for awhile and then a Ghosthand 3x3 for a long time. Gosh I had forgotten all about sanding and using a dremmel to make cubes corner cut better.
- V-Cubes. That pillowed 7x7 was the Rolls-Royce of it's time!

Where did you get your cubes
-Definitely Cube4you

Did cubing channels exist at that time?
- Not like they do today, or at least i wasn't actively viewing them

Where did cubers socialize/where did you talk?
- 1 in 4 guys on my freshman dorm floor had a 3x3, a few speed solved and there were definitely other cubers at my school. I went to a small engineering only college where the the population density of cubes was way out of proportion compared to the rest of society. I actually became interested in cubing because some dude had the newly released V-Cube 7 and that just blew my mind since at the time I had never even solved a 3x3!

How much did cubes cost?
- Usually ~$10

How did you make cubing videos?
- N/A

How popular was cubing?
- It seems much more mainstream today.

I have some puzzles from the 2008-2010 era and while they turn terribly they are some of the favorites in my collection because of how far hardware has come today.
 
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